by Jennifer Swift
Aug 21, 2014
11:57 AMConnecticut Politics
Job Recovery, Steady but Slow Under Malloy; 6.7 Percent Jobless in State
During his inauguration speech in 2011, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vowed to grow Connecticut’s economy and create jobs.
Malloy took office in Connecticut on the heels of a crippling recession. The state had lost more than 100,000 jobs in the Great Recession. Unemployment on the night of the governor’s inauguration was 9.3 percent, according to the state Department of Labor.
In the speech, Malloy offered optimism and an economic path forward.
“We will put in place an economic development strategy that makes sense for the 21st century economy, aggressively competing with other states and nations for lucrative biotech, nanotech, fuel cell technology and stem cell research jobs,” Malloy said in his 2011 inaugural address. “We will join Connecticut to the Energy Economy, attracting companies that reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We will aggressively develop our three deepwater ports to spark commercial activity and decrease our reliance on heavy trucking and the congestion they bring to our highways.”
At first blush Malloy’s strategy has seemed to work. Biotech and digital media firms moved to the state, often lured by tax breaks and state-backed loans. And while the ports weren’t deepened, the economic tide began to rise. The unemployment rate in Connecticut, as it did across the country, declined.
According to the most recent estimate by the state Labor Department, the official jobless rate in Connecticut is 6.7 percent, the national unemployment rate is 6.2 percent.
During his most recent State of the State speech, Malloy didn’t declare victory in his battle to restart the Connecticut economy, but he noted the progress made since he took office.
“Taken together, all of these positive changes have helped create more than 40,000 new private sector jobs and lower Connecticut’s unemployment rate by two percentage points in just three short years,” Malloy said in his speech.
Shortly after taking office, Malloy launched First Five, a business tax incentive program intended to pump life into the start-up sector. STEP UP, the state’s job training program, has placed more than 2,200 residents in jobs. The governor also helped launch Small Business Express, a program which provides loans and grants to small businesses.
Divided Connecticut is a blog of the New Haven Register focusing on the governor's race this November through the lens of some of the state's biggest issues and biggest cities. For more stories, click here.Job Recovery, Steady but Slow Under Malloy; 6.7 Percent Jobless in State